Czech Republic

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 28 July 2015

Five-Year Review: State Party Czech Republic enacted implementing legislation for the convention before it ratified on 22 September 2011. The Czech Republic has participated in all of the convention’s meetings and has expressed deep concern at the use of cluster munitions in South Sudan, Ukraine, and Syria.

The Czech Republic submitted its initial transparency report for the convention in August 2012, confirming it has never used or produced cluster munitions. In November 2010, the Czech Republic announced the completion of the destruction of its stockpile of 191 cluster bombs, including 16,400 individual submunitions. At the time, it stated that 796 individual submunitions would be retained for training; that number has decreased over the course of training, to a total of 67 submunitions in April 2015.

Policy

The Czech Republic signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008, ratified on 22 September 2011, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 March 2012.

Law No. 213 on the Prohibition of the Use, Development, Production, and Transfer of Cluster Munitions and their Destruction, which took effect on 1 March 2012, serves as the Czech Republic’s implementing legislation for the convention.[1] The legislation does not include penal sanctions for violations as provisions of the general Criminal Code of the Czech Republic apply instead.[2]

The Czech Republic submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 28 August 2012 and has provided updated annual reports since 2013, most recently on 24 April 2015.[3]

The Czech Republic participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and its position evolved over time to support the comprehensive prohibition on cluster munitions.[4]

The Czech Republic has actively engaged in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It has attended every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, including the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in San José, Costa Rica in September 2014, where it did not make a statement. The Czech Republic has participated in all of the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva, with the exception of those held in April 2014.

The Czech Republic has condemned the use of cluster munitions in Syria since 2013, and in South Sudan and Ukraine since 2014.[5]

At the UN General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in October 2014, the Czech Republic reiterated its “strong support” for the convention and expressed its “deep concern” at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, South Sudan, and Ukraine.[6]

The Czech Republic has also voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, including UNGA Resolution 69/189 on 18 December 2014, which expressed “outrage” at the continued use of cluster munitions.[7] It co-sponsored a previous UNGA resolution in 2013 that also strongly condemned the use of cluster munitions in Syria.[8]  

The Czech Republic is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Interpretive issues

The Czech Republic has provided its views on a number of important issues related to interpretation and implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, including the prohibition on assistance during joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions, the prohibition on transit of cluster munitions, the prohibition on foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions, and the prohibition on investment in production of cluster munitions.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Czech Republic considers that assistance with prohibited acts in joint military operations prohibited under the convention and any assistance with states not party during joint operations “shall not go beyond Article 21 together with Article 1 of the Convention.” The Czech Republic believes that “the transit of cluster munitions across the territory of the Czech Republic as well as the stockpiling of foreign cluster munitions on the territory of the Czech Republic is prohibited by the Convention.” The ministry also expressed the Czech Republic’s view that under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, “investment in the production of cluster munitions is prohibited.”[9]

Use, production, and transfer

The Czech Republic has stated that it “has never used any cluster munitions in military operations.”[10] It has formally declared the “Czech Republic has no production facilities for cluster munitions.”[11]

Stockpiling and destruction

The Czech Republic once possessed a stockpile consisting of 191 RBK-500 cluster bombs containing PTAB-2.5, AO-10, and AO-2.5RT submunitions and 289 BFK cartridges (also called “blocks”) containing AO-2.5RT, and PTAB-2.5 submunitions for KMG-U dispensers, as well as 16,400 individual submunitions of five types[12] (see table below). The stockpile was completely destroyed in 2010, prior to entry into force of the convention for the Czech Republic.[13]

Cluster munitions destroyed by the Czech Republic[14]

Type

Quantity of munitions destroyed

Quantity of submunitions destroyed

RBK-500-255 PTAB bombs

78

 

RBK-500-375 AO-10 bombs

49

 

RBK-500 AO-2.5RT

64

 

BKF AO-2.5RT

143

 

BKF PTAB-2.5

146

 

ZAB-2.5P submunitions

 

2,175

ZTAB 2.5T submunitions

 

2,508

AO-2.5 submunitions

 

6,340

AO-10 submunitions

 

1,364

PTAB-2.5 submunitions

 

4,013

Total

480

16,400

 

The cluster munitions were removed from operational stockpiles in 2006 and destroyed by the Czech Army between 2007 and 2010 at military bases as well as by civilian commercial contracting partners at facilities in the Czech Republic. The initial Article 7 report provides a detailed accounting of the types of cluster munitions and the dates, locations, and methods of their destruction.[15]

Retention

The Czech Republic’s national law allows the army to retain explosive submunitions for training purposes as permitted under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

In its April 2015 Article 7 report, the Czech Republic declared the retention of a total of 67 explosive submunitions for training and research purposes as of 31 December 2014.[16] It has stated that these submunitions have “no air or surface-fired means of delivery.”[17]

The 67 submunitions the Czech Republic has retained for training represent a small fraction of the 796 submunitions that it initially stated, in November 2010, would be retained for training explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel. The number of submunitions consumed over the course of training has fallen from 796 submunitions in November 2010, to 653 in May 2011, to 461 in May 2012, to 293 in December 2012, to 100 in December 2013, and to 67 in December 2014.[18] The Czech Republic reported using 33 submunitions for the training of its armed forces in cluster munitions detection and clearance techniques in 2014.[19]



[1] For full analysis of the legislation’s provisions, see: CMC, Cluster Munition Monitor 2011 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2011), p. 204. “Zákon ze dne 21. června 2011 o zákazu použití, vývoje, výroby, skladování a převodu kazetové munice a o jejím zničení (zákon o zákazu kazetové munice)” (“Law 213 of 21 June 2011 on the Prohibition of the Use, Development, Production, and Transfer of Cluster Munitions and their Destruction, No. 213/2011 [hereafter known as Law No. 213/2011]”). According to the initial Article 7 report, “Law No. 213 includes the prohibitions contained in the Convention on Cluster Munitions and applies to both individuals and corporations.” Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 28 August 2012; statement of the Czech Republic, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012; and letter from Katerina Sequensova, Director of the UN Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Mary Wareham, Senior Advisor, Arms Division, Human Rights Watch (HRW), REF: No. 102273/2011-OSN, 2 May 2011.

[2] Under Section 185 of the Criminal Code, it is a crime “to develop, produce, import, export, store, or accumulate weapons or means of combat prohibited by law or international treaty, or to dispose of these weapons or means of combat in any way.” Under the Criminal Code, penal sanctions for violations related to prohibited weapons include imprisonment of between one and five years, while financial sanctions for violations by corporations are fines of a maximum of CZK50 million. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 28 August 2012.

[3] The period covered by the initial report is not indicated (it simply states “initial”), while the 2013 report covers the period from 1 September 2012 to 31 December 2012, the 2014 report is for calendar year 2013, and the 2015 report is for calendar year 2014.

[4] For details on the Czech Republic’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 66–68.

[5] In September 2013, the Czech Republic informed States Parties that it “strongly” condemned the use of cluster munitions in Syria. Statement of Czech Republic, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013.

[6] Statement by Veronika Stromšíková, Director, United Nations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, 69th Session, New York, 23 October 2014.

[7]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/189, 18 December 2014. The Czech Republic voted in favor of a similar resolution on 18 December 2013.

[8] See, “The situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/67/L.63, 15 May 2013.

[9] Letter from Miroslav Klíma, UN Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Mary Wareham, HRW, REF: No. 102870-2/2012-OSN, 30 April 2012.

[10] Statement of the Czech Republic, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013; statement of the Czech Republic, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011; and letter from Jan Michal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 March 2009.

[11] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form E, 28 August 2012. In 2009, the Czech Republic also stated that it has “never produced cluster munitions.” Letter from Jan Michal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 March 2009.

[12] Earlier statements by the Czech Republic put the total number of submunitions destroyed at 15,000. Statement of the Czech Republic, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012; and statement of the Czech Republic, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012.

[13] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 28 August 2012.

[14] The stockpiled cluster bombs had production dates ranging from 1954 to 1988. The RBK-250 bombs containing ZAB series incendiary submunitions are not covered by the Convention on Cluster Munitions as they contain incendiary submunitions and not explosive submunitions. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 28 August 2012.

[15] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 28 August 2012.

[16] These include 7 AO-2.5, 13 AO-10, 43 PTAB-2.5, and 4 ZAB-2.5T. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, 24 April 2015.

[17] Statement of the Czech Republic, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013; letter from Katerina Sequensova, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Mary Wareham, HRW, REF: No. 102273/2011-OSN, 2 May 2011; and statement of the Czech Republic, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012.

[18] Statement of the Czech Republic, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. In May 2011, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official informed the Monitor that 653 submunitions had been retained for the training of EOD personnel. Letter from Katerina Sequensova, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, REF: No. 102273/2011-OSN, 2 May 2011. In April 2012, it stated that the number of submunitions it retained had decreased to 461. Statement of the Czech Republic, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012. In the second half of 2012, the Czech Republic reported consuming 185 submunitions (59 AO-2.5, 72 AO-10, 46 PTAB-2.5, and 8 ZAB-2.5T submunitions). Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, 4 April 2013; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, 24 April 2015.

[19] The 33 submunitions comprised of 2 AO-2.5, 2 AO-10, and 29 PTAB-2.5. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, 24 April 2015.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 01 October 2012

The Czech Republic signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 26 October 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 April 2000. The former Czechoslovakia produced and exported antipersonnel mines. Production ceased in 1989 and a transfer moratorium was enacted in 1994. National implementation legislation entered into force on 3 December 1999 and the criminal code was amended to provide penal sanctions for violations of the treaty. In 2012, the Czech Republic submitted its 14th Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report.

The Czech Republic completed destruction of its stockpile of 324,412 antipersonnel mines on 15 June 2001, far in advance of its 1 April 2004 treaty-mandated destruction deadline. The Czech Republic initially retained 4,849 mines for training and development purposes, which was reduced to 2,443 by 2012.[1]

The Czech Republic attended the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November–December 2011 and the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2012. In December 2011, the Czech Republic voted in favor of UN General Assembly resolution 66/29 on antipersonnel mines.

The Czech Republic is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

The Czech Republic has no known mined areas, but unexploded ordnance (UXO) from World War II are still found. In 2004, the Czech Republic finished clearing two military areas contaminated by World War II UXO.

 



[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form D.

Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 03 August 2017

In 2016, the Czech Republic contributed US$211,617 in mine action funding to four countries, as well as for global activities. This represents a 70% increase compared to 2015.

Contributions by recipient: 2016[1]

Recipient

Sector

Amount (US$)

Jordan

Capacity-building

98,541

Iraq

Clearance

49,824

Georgia

Clearance

48,717

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Clearance

9,615

Global

Various

4,920

Total

 

211,617

 

Since 2013, the Czech Republic’s  support to mine action has been inconsistent, with annual contributions reaching a high of $222,214 in 2014 and a low of $67,069 in 2013.

Summary of contributions 2012–2016[2]

Year

Amount (US$)

2016

211,617

2015

124,579

2014

222,214

2013

67,069

2012

N/R

Total

625,479

Note: N/R = not reported



[1] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 25 April 2017; and ITF Enhancing Human Security, “Annual Report 2016,” April 2017, p. 25.

[2] See previous Monitor reports.